4 replies

  1. Very nice painting, which brings out the essential feature of each.
    Bhagavan Sri Ramana became well known , both in India and abroad , through Paul Brunton’s book ‘A Search in Secret India” (1934). Paul Brunton himself was directed to Sri Ramana by Paramacharya, . Paul Brunton was taken to Paramacharya by journalist K.S.Venkataramani

    Paramacharya identified Bhagavan Sri Ramana as one of the two Realised persons in India then, but said that the other might not be interested in meeting a foreigner. We do not know who the other person was!
    Paramacharya had great respect for Sri Ramana and his senior contemporary, Sri Seshadri Swamigal. Many devotees used to visit both .

    But in their ministries, there are some important differences.. Paramacharya was a traditional Sanyasi and head of a Shankara Mutt. So he was bound by some traditions , disciplines and their external observance, without dilution. He was a Guru and Acharya ipso facto- by His very Office of Jagatguru.

    Sri Ramana was an Atiashrami, which He was himself forced to express and explain when a court case was foisted on the Asramam. He did so by reference to our scriptures and examples. He had not taken formal Sanyasa, though he lived as one. There is an interesting incident in this connection. Once a learned Shastri / sishya of Sringeri Mutt visited Him and observed his exalted spirit and state. He poke to Sri Ramana with great reverence for some time. With folded hands and great humility, he pleaded with Sri Ramana that having been born in a Brahmin family, it was required that he should take formal sanyasa.and diksha. He said that he would himself arrange everything if he consented. He said that he would go to the town and come after some time and complete everything. So saying he left. Then an elderly Brahmin came there. He said that he would go for his bath, and come after some time and in the meantime he would leave a small bundle there, as there was no one to look after it.. After he left, Sri Ramana was prompted to glance at the bundle which looked like a bundle of books. On top he found a copy of Arunachala Mahatmya in Sanskrit. When he opened it, he found a verse there where Lord Shiva declares that for those who reside within three yojanas of Arunachala, He himself would grant Sayujya without their having to undergo any Diksha. He wrote down the shloka on a piece of paper,folded the book and closed the bundle. When the Sringeri Shastri returned, he showed him the above verse. Since he was learned, he understood and quietly left the place trembling.. It was reported that when he related the incident to Sri Nrusimha Bharati Swamigal at Sringeri he chided him for such a thoughtless step! Later. Ramana wrote that Shloka in Tamil:
    அருணாசல மாஹாத்மியம் —சிவ வசனம்
    யோசனை மூன்றாம் இத்தல வாசர்க்கு
    ஆசறு தீக்கை யாதியின் றியுமென்
    பாசமில் சாயுச் சியம் பயக்கும்மே
    ஈசனாம் என்றன் ஆணையி னானே

    Kanchi Mutt is an Advaita Mutt belonging to Shankara Sampradaya. It is rooted in Vedanta, but gives primacy to Vedic dharma in practical life. The basic authority for the Mutt is Shankara’s life and works.
    Sri Ramana’s teaching is popularly interpreted as Advaita Vedanta, but he himself made no such claim. He has translated Shankara’s Dakshinamurti Stotram, Atma Bodha, Viveka Chudamni into Tamil, but his teaching is based on his own realisation . He has not cited any authority for it. In fact it used to be said that he realised Brahman without knowing the word Brahman- for he had not studied Veda or Vedanta at all. It is only later when devotees started coming and reading and discussing the scriptures that he came to know that his realisations were described and explained there.

    Sri Ramana’s teaching was direct, unique, not based on any standard method given in our books. He asked seekers to enquire who they were! He respected all methods and explained their significance to the devotees of respective methods. He never criticised any other method or Guru, nor did he advocate his own method to any one of his own accord. To those that asked, he said ‘either enquire or surrender”.Very few people chose to follow his method in his own lifetime and to those he was a real Guru, but in a subtle way. Arthur Osborne has written beautifully about it. [ Ramana Arunachala.]
    The Ramanasramam sprang up around Sri Ramana, for the convenience of devotees and as managed by them. In a way it imprisoned Sri Ramana, and bound him to a routine for the convenience of devotees!

    There is an interesting incident connecting Sri Ramanasramam and Kanchi Mutt. In the early days, Vedic Pundits used to come to the Asramam from the town and conduct Veda Parayana early in the morning every day. Kanchi Mutt came to know about it and said that the pundits should not do it as the Asramam was situated near a burning ghat and it was not proper to recite Vedas there! If they continued to do, they would not be admitted to the Mutt. The Pundits came and reported the matter to Sri Bhagavan and sought his advice. He told them that since they were all orthodox pundits owing allegiance to the Mutt, they should abide by its rules! .Of their own accord they continued the Vedic recital. Later, a Veda Pathashala was started there, which still runs.
    Paramacharya once visited Tiruvannamalai and on his rounds, he stood outside the gates of the Asramam and observed it for some time, but did not enter the Asramam.

    In later days, Paramacharya himself gave up the administrative responsibilities of the Mutt and became a de facto ati ashrami !

  2. Whay a class presentation. Wish both were alive today

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